Bearing Gifts (and Installation of Elders and Deacons)

Dr. Jonathan Sloan gives a sermon about bringing our gifts to Christ as we continue to seek God’s Blessings. Based on Matthew 2:1-12

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Be sure to scroll down and go over the responsive reading for the installation and ordination of Deacons and Elders, it’s an important aspect of church life that every member should be a part of.

*Call to Worship
The wise men could not wait for the Savior;
they saw the sign and immediately left to find Him.
They traveled a long distance, continually following the star;
bearing gifts to present to the Savior of the world.
As we pursue Jesus today, let us do so with great enthusiasm, without delay, no matter how inconvenient. Let us reach out to Him with the gifts given
to us by God.
Let us worship God!

*Prayer of Confession
Dear Jesus, we often look for You, but remain unmoved, expecting You to take the first step. We want You to be our guide, but only when the path is easy and the journey is short. We ask for so much, without thought to the many gifts You have already provided. Help us to leave the comfort of our surroundings to follow You, and to do so bearing our gifts that will highly exalt You…(Silent time of prayer)

*Assurance of Pardon
Jesus was born in a stable. He bore our sins and suffered an unbearable death, all to give us the gifts of mercy, forgiveness and eternal life.
Thanks be to God!

Matthew 2:1-12 (NRSV)

The Visit of the Wise Men
1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

BLESSING OF CHURCH OFFICERS

A Responsive Reading
Minister: There are different gifts,
People: But it is the same Spirit who gives them.
Minister: There are different ways of serving God,
People: But it is the same God who is served.
Minister: God works through different people in different ways,
People: But it is the same God who achieves his purpose through them all.
Minister: Each one is given a gift by the Spirit,
People: To use it for the common good.
Minister: Together we are the body of Christ,
People: And individually members of him.

M. Though we have different gifts, together we are a ministry of reconciliation led by the risen Christ. We work and pray to make his church useful in the world, and we call
men and women to faith, so that, in the end, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Within our common ministry, some members are chosen for particular work as
ministers of the Word and Sacrament, elders, or deacons, we recognize
these special ministries remembering that our Lord Jesus said:
Whoever among you wants to be great must become the servant of all, and if any want to be first among you, they must be the slave of all.
P. Just as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life to set others free.

INSTALLATION AND ORDINATION OF ELDERS AND DEACONS

Within our common ministry, some members are chosen for particular work as ministers of the Word, Elders, Deacons and Trustees. We now recognize these special ministries.

For more info on who was installed as Elders and Deacons, please contact the church.

To Elders:
Will you be a faithful ruling elder, watching over the people, providing for their worship, nurture, and service? Will you share in government and discipline, serving in councils of the church, and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?
We will.

To Deacons:
Will you be a faithful deacon, teaching charity, urging concern, and directing the people’s
help to the friendless and those in need? In your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?
We will.

To the Congregation:
Do we, members of this church accept these persons as Ruling Elders and Deacons, chosen by God through the voice of this congregation to lead us in the way of Jesus Christ?
We do.

Do we agree to pray for them, to encourage them, to respect their decisions, and to follow as they guide us, serving Jesus Christ, who alone is Head of the Church?
We do.

You are now Deacons in the church of Jesus Christ and for this congregation. Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

RECOGNITION OF TRUSTEES
An Elder: Gloria Stover

Pat Gates and Susan Smith have been elected to serve as Trustees of the church. We wish to recognize the responsibility they have accepted.

Minister:
Friends, God has given you special strengths and gifts to serve him, and we have chosen you for a special work. Under the laws of the state, you will hold and manage properties and, as authorized, conduct business for the church. By your energy, honesty, and fairness, will you demonstrate Christian faith to those you deal with on our behalf?
We will.

Do you promise to give the business affairs of this congregation your devoted attention, to encourage generosity, and in all your dealings, work to further our service of Christ in the world?
We do.

To the Congregation:
Do you receive these persons as Trustees and do you promise to support them in their work for the church?
We do.

Charge to the New Trustees:
You are Trustees of this church. Be good and faithful servants, who will enter into the joy of our Lord.

As our elected leaders commit themselves to service for the church and our Lord, we ask the congregation to also recommit by the Reaffirming their Baptismal Vows:

Leader: Who is your Lord and Savior?
ALL: Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
Leader: Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, do you turn from the ways of sin
and renounce evil and its power in the world?
ALL: I do.
Leader: Do you turn to Jesus Christ, trusting in His grace and love?
ALL: I do.
Leader: Will you be Christ’s faithful disciple, obeying His Word and showing His
love?
ALL: I will, with God’s help.

*The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen